As many of our friends and family may know, we have a general route that we’ve planned for our entire road trip… but we’re still pretty much winging it. We’ve planned a bunch of specific places that we want to see, things we want to do and things we want to eat. But not so much where we want to sleep every night. Of course, a lot of places we’re getting a lot of help from our family and friends (thanks again guys!) but where we don’t know anybody we’re kind of planning as we go. The Savannah area was one of those.
On the drive down from Charleston we stopped at Hyundai to get my windshield wipers looked at, because as I mentioned in this post they were messed up and it was supposed to rain the next few days. Hyundai was all booked up, but they told us to hang out before we left and they’d check it out before they closed. While we waited for an available slot we checked out Folly Beach on James Island in Charleston. During the winter months dogs are allowed on the beach, so I of course had an amazing time. We went back to the dealership and everything worked out so we went on our way to Savannah. We didn’t really know where we were headed though… There weren’t any free campgrounds that were close to the city so we put Tybee Island into the GPS. When we got there we booked a campsite at River’s End Campground.
River’s End Campground was a great campsite! A little weird, it was located right next to the police station. And the back end of the campsite was the entrance to an impound lot? But it was amazing, we checked into our site a few minutes before the office closed (meaning we set up our tent in the daylight for the first time this trip). While I was checking in I saw that they had a movie night at 7:30, and they were showing Finding Dory! Of course we went. When we walked back to our campsite two more campers were setting up one site away from us. They said hello to us and finished setting up, Elliot built a fire and I attempted to write a blog post (which obviously failed). They offered us some food and they came and hung out at our fire. They were some really great people and we exchanged numbers, we may hang out when we reach Washington.
We were unsure about our day going into Savannah, since we’re camping so much we check the weather as often as we can just to see what we’re getting ourselves into. There were supposed to be “severe thunder storms” and a “tornado watch” for most of the early evening. We had already made a reservation for 5:45 for the Haunted Hearse Tour in Savannah, but everything else was up in the air. We were only about a block or two away from the Tybee Island Light House so we decided to go there first.
Once we got to the lighthouse you could really tell that some type of weather was coming in. It wasn’t even really foggy.. It was cloudy, but ridiculously low. We tried to take photos, but it doesn’t show it quite the way that we saw it. Regardless, we walked to the top of the lighthouse before they closed it due to the weather. It was steep on the way up (and the way down), and it was super windy when we got to the top. It was worth the climb, but we couldn’t see as far as we wanted to because of the clouds. There were a bunch of other buildings to check out on the grounds, it was all original furniture from the family that lived there in the 1800’s. It was interesting to see what furniture from that time frame looked like.
When we left the lighthouse we went to the Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah. They have many different animals in their exhibits for many different reasons, but they just opened a wolf exhibit and they were very happy running around when we first got there. We spent a lot of time watching them and then they settled down. They also have bison, cougars, alligators, foxes, bobcats, eagles, vultures and many different owl species & barn animals.
Toward the end of the trail we heard thunder starting to roll in. We weren’t exactly worried, but we knew that it could get serious so we made sure to finish quickly. While we were walking back to the visitor building we got picked up by an employee on a golf cart, apparently they were closing early and we were the only visitors left. As soon as we got on the cart it started down pouring, we had to leave the park since they were closed but it wasn’t easy to see at all. We ended up driving to a nearby Walmart to pass the time, and we had to grab a few things anyways.
After the rain passed we went into the city to meet up with our Haunted Hearse Tour. It was still raining a bit, but not too much to cancel the tour. It was us and a family of 5 on the tour, so it was pretty personal for the entire ride. We had Peg Leg Ron as our tour guide, and while we bit our tongues in some situations most of the tour was really funny. Apparently Savannah has a lot of ghost stories to tell, a lot of them hilarious because of the ironic placement of present day popular places to visit and photograph. At the end of the tour he dropped the family off to where they wanted to eat for dinner and he dropped us off at Leopold’s Ice Cream. I actually lost my camera lens cap too, and he called me back to meet up with me so I could get it back which was very nice of him, since I had already written it off as “gone forever”.
Savannah was a great city to visit, after the hearse tour we explored River Street, but I had been told that it’s a pretty touristy area before I went, and they weren’t wrong. It lived up to that standard, but I did find a sticker that I wanted to buy. That night, yet again, we weren’t sure of where we were camping… But it was still severe weather and the tornado watch was still in effect so I’m going to leave that story for the next blog post because it was pretty interesting to say in the least…